Help – my wall is covered in Post-it notes!
A big thank you to the wonderful person who invented the Post-it note, BUT once your wall is covered from top to bottom in your online coaching business ideas – then what?
I always scribble my ah-ha ideas on Post-its. I can then rearrange them on my ideas wall to show myself how my classes or courses will flow. It is especially useful when planning my online programmes as I can see exactly what information my crowd need to know and order it all the right way. I can also move any unnecessary post-its away and really hone in on getting the right result for my lovely course peeps and not going off on a tangent (easily done!)
Er, what was this blog about?
Oh yes, knowing how to move from a wall covered from top to bottom in post-its to getting the ideas online and actually bringing in money. Oooh!
When all you have is ideas and scribbles (even if they are super dooper scribbles) it can seem an impossible task to get it out of your head and make it a reality. There are SO many things you need to learn when starting out online that it’s really tempting to just crawl under the table with your favourite cuddly that you kept from childhood and forget about the whole thing – is that just me? Ah.
Oh my, it can be so overwhelming when you start to think about dipping a toe into getting your biz online. Argh! I need a website, a brand, to learn about every social media platform going, Instagram, facebook, twitter, google plus, tumbler and all the ones I’ve never even heard of, SEO and how will I ever get people to know about me, let alone buy?! And if I have to have all this new stuff how the **#! Will I ever pay for it all? How can I compete with those BIG online personalities? It will cost thousands!!
Eek – too scary. Hide under table.
Some people never get past this point, but there is good, no, great news [stage whisper] you can do it all for not very much at all and some bits are FREE!
It’s true it can be a steep learning curve but the great news is that with more and more small businesses starting up online more and more wonderful easy to use, non-techie tools have been created. Just for beginners, just for small business owners that can’t afford to invest in bespoke coded websites and fancy doodads and oodles of people to man a million complicated processes.
Once you start unraveling the online possibilities it is shocking how unbelievably easy and cheap it is to set up your online coaching business, build a website, build your biz in social media, publicise and advertise and build up a list of wonderful leads and gaining loads of effortless airtime for your expertise. Things that weren’t even possible a few years ago are now thrillingly open to everybody and a lot of the time, they are FREE! Yes, you can have an international business. Yes, you can get published and spread the word. Yes, you can be the go to lady and whizzy specialist in your market. The possibilities are endless!
Within the first few months of setting up The Business Beautician with NO investment other than my own time, I had a client in Shanghai, Brazil, Spain and Denmark. I love telling my hubbie I’m on a call to China (it gives me a thrill every time) but when you have an online business, it’s really not that big a deal.
So, how do we get from Post-it city to a real online business? What do you need in place to get started? What are the essentials for starting out? To demystify the online business world, here is a really simple, all you need essentials list to set your online coaching business off to the best start.
Just a name – FREE
Not a logo. The big cheeses spend millions on fancy branding but you don’t have to. Your business won’t be appearing on t-shirts, merchandise (unless you are already planning an action figure range of yous) or glossy company brochures anytime soon. As a coaching business it is more important that your crowd get YOU, get super results from your expertise and understand what you have to offer.
Keep it simple – your logo can simply be your company name, or even your own name. No design fees necessary. Yay!
Get social, but get specific – FREE
Social media is FREE. You can set up a business page or account, join groups, give advice, network and spread the word about what you have to offer. But it can be really easy to overdo it and try to get to grips with ALL the social media platforms out there (and there are a lot). Don’t end up like an octopus on roller skates trying to be everywhere at once – you’ll end up not getting anywhere.
Choose no more than a couple of social media channels to work with so you can really focus on getting the most out of it.
Choose the right social media platforms for both YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS and YOU. If you hate LinkedIn, don’t choose it as your main home because you won’t do it well. If you love Pinterest but your ideal customers don’t hang out there, then just keep it for your personal account.
Set up a blog – FREE or very cheap
I know, this one sounds scary, big and expensive but you can do this easily, yourself and even, for free…
When you are just starting out the best way to shout about your offer is to show people exactly what you are about. Writing a blog is a powerful way to communicate with your crowd, show them how your knowledge can help them and get them easy win results. All you need is somewhere to post your blogs so your new enthusiastic crowd can find more from you easily. This can be your first online base – somewhere to send potential customers for more information about you and grow your crowd.
It needn’t be all singing and dancing at this stage, just easy to read, easy to find and packed with your expertise – the online world is constantly changing and so should your website so don’t think this is a forever site, just get it done and get it out there. Here are a few easy to set up (free) blogging platforms for you to start with.
WordPress.com – free
Blogger – free
Weebly – free
Pick one of their easy to use templates, get writing and get sharing. I recycle every blog on my social media pages, send them out in my e-newsletters and even use them to build my list through advertising.
Build a list – FREE
The first time I sent an enewsletter was a revelation. I couldn’t believe that something web agencies had only a year before told me was a new innovation that would cost thousands in development was now free and so simple that I was convinced I must have missed something.
But it is easy, it has LOADS of functions, and it is free for beginners. Yay!
Set up a simple emarketing list. I use Mailchimp, but there is also Madmimi, Aweber and GetResponse. Set up a free account, create a list and you are ready to start building your crowd of people who will buy from you. Once you have a list set up you will be able to share the sign up form (normally through a simple link) which you can then share on social media and on your blog.
Newsletters are great for building relationships and trust with your audience, keeping you and your biz fresh in their minds and even selling to.
Offer something for free – FREE
The best way to start building that list is to offer something for free.
Make sure that your freebie is something that will really rock your ideal customer’s boat. Create something that will get them one easy result and something that they can use immediately to make a difference.
you have sent out a survey you will have a good idea what your crowd need to know and what problems they need to solve.
It needn’t be complicated though. Remember that simple is best. Some of the big online coaching businesses still have a simple checklist as their freebie. An ebook should be short and to the point or a little video or audio series can be just the thing for your audience.
Try out a few and see what really captures your crowd’s imagination.